Day 3: Perfection Lake to Snow Lakes Trailhead. The Enchantments are a fickle mistress. The hike out started out cool and clear. The trail down through the Lower Enchantments was mostly soft, rolling, and well-marked. It seemed every time I turned a corner, a new lake, stream, and grand view awaited me. I cried with joy, and just kept repeating "Where are we? This isn't real." We waltzed through the Lower Enchantments ALONE AT SUNRISE (we are soooo lucky). BUT, none of that came cheap...the descent was long, punishing on the knees, and filled with billowing smoke from a new forest fire near Leavenworth. I cried, because that is just my thing. By the time we made it off trail, I was physically and emotionally gassed. Last but not least, I topped off the weekend with a schnitzel platter and beer in Leavenworth. It was an alright weekend. 😍✌🏻⛺🏞🌲🐐🌞
2 3112:20 AM Aug 14, 2018
Day 2: Camping at Perfection Lake. Here is a little "Insta life vs. REAL life" perspective....that water was freezing cold, but I needed to get in. I mean, when in Rome, right? I realized how lucky we were as we sat on the shore of Inspiration Lake and watched a two-hour long processional of hikers come down an 800' climb, at a break-neck speed. They were all hiking the trail thru in a day, and they had 10 miles left to go by 1 PM. I drank a surprisingly good can of wine (totally worth the weight) and chatted with passers-by.🥂 They were all happy to remind us how lucky we were. 😉 The smoke totally dissipated, and so did most of the heat...by evening time, we crammed five people into a two-person tent for cards and warmth. Thankfully, the wind died down around 9 PM, and once again, I slept like a baby. ⛺🏞🌲🐐✌🏻
2 3012:09 AM Aug 14, 2018
This weekend, I did the backpack of a lifetime through The Enchantments. We literally won the lottery and managed to snag a two-night permit for the Core Enchantments. Hikers in WA, you know what this means and how hard those are to come by. I snagged as many pictures as possible. There were tears of joy, beauty, fatigue, and pain. There was laughter, a lot of it. There were goats. There were views that rocked my world. There aren't adequate words to describe, so here comes a ton of pictures! ✌🏻🐐🌲🏞⛺ Day 1: Colchuck Lake trailhead to Perfection Lake. It was hot (high 90s) and smokey at first. Aasgard Pass was so much more difficult than expected...a total boulder scramble. I cried. We waltzed through the Upper Enchantments ALONE AT GOLDEN HOUR. I cried. A lot. We set up camp on a cliff overlooking Perfection Lake, and I slept like a baby.
Y’all ever climb a pass over 4000 feet of elevation in 1.6 miles with a makeshift hiking stick on a tiny pair of gams on your first 3-day backpacking trip that you didn’t look up the length or difficulty of beforehand 🤷🏼♀️. I thought backpacking The Enchantments was just going to be a long-ass hike but it was worth every unanticipated step.
22 17312:20 AM Aug 1, 2018
Enchantments Breakdown // 3) Core Zone. At the crest of Aasgard Pass we moved into the Core Enchantment Zone. This most coveted overnight permit zone consists of a high alpine lakes basin with a series of moraine lakes that gently descend toward Snow Lakes over several miles. Fractured granite spires frame the skyline. Docile mountain goats welcome visitors. A cool breeze made the 100 degree temps in town a distant concern. Pretty much heaven. Can’t wait to get back here. #enchantments#coreenchantments#goatopia ⛰ 🐐
Soon after I arrived in Seattle, I learned of this place called the Enchantments. Overnight permits are extremely hard to come by but you can thru-hike the 18 miles in a day. I was immediately set on doing it. Yesterday, 14 months later, I got to venture through this magical, other-worldly, truly enchanting part of the alpine lakes wilderness with another newbie Seattleite friend just as intent on exploring. It was a day... 50 mph winds, snow, sun, clouds, rain... climbing 2,000 ft in less than a mile, walking a total of 18, and an endless seeming trail of golden larches. It doesn’t even seem real. It was far too much beauty to see and process in a single day. I don’t care that we were rained on for the last ~3 miles, that I was practically hallucinating on the way down, that we didn’t see a goat, or that I am sick today. I am lucky to be alive and I am filled with gratitude. I’ll enter the permit lottery for this place every year as long as I live here. And I’d thru-hike again and again. #larchmadness#theenchantments#coreenchantments#aasgardpass#cairns